Clayton Kershaw (35),메이저놀이터Julio Urias (27), Dustin May (26, LA Dodgers), Gerrit Cole (33, New York Yankees). Major League (ML) representative aces, or young pitchers who are said to have ace potential, fail to surpass Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) and fail to finish the last inning, and the situation is repeated.
Ha-seong Kim started as the 6th hitter and 3rd baseman in the 2023 Major League away game against the New York Yankees held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, on the 29th (Korean time), and made a big success with 1 hit, 2 walks and 3 points in 2 at-bats.
He raised his season batting average from 0.239 to 0.242 and his on-base percentage from 0.320 to 0.330 by making his first three on-base games since the home game against Kansas City on the 18th (2 hits, 2 walks). However, San Diego lost 7-10 without being able to overcome the fact that starter Darvish Yu allowed 3 big innings and collapsed with 7 runs in 2⅔ innings.
On this day, New York Yankees ace Cole continued his undefeated streak by winning his 6th win of the season. However, the content of the game was not very satisfactory. He threw 100 pitches in 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, 9 strikeouts, 3 walks and 6 runs (5 earned).
Kim Ha-seong made the call especially difficult. In the beginning of the second inning when both teams faced each other 1-1, the two faced off for the first time in a situation where there was no runner. Ha-seong Kim went on base with a walk and succeeded in stealing second base when Trent Grisham was at bat. 7th steal of the season. The base made with his feet shone as he stepped on the groove when Jose Azocar’s timely hit in the left center followed.
In the second at-bat, a dizzying situation unfolded for Ha-seong Kim. At the beginning of the 4th inning, Kim Ha-seong harassed Cole by cutting 3 balls even in a situation where he was driven with 2 strikes and 1 ball. Then, Cole’s fast ball at 155.1 km per hour flew toward Ha-seong Kim’s head. He fortunately ducked the ball by leaning back, but struck out looking for a slider on the ninth pitch.
The ball was thrown by Gerrit Cole towards Ha-seong Kim. After throwing a threat in the 8th pitch (red circle on the upper left), he caught Ha-seong Kim with a low slider on the 9th pitch. /Photo = MLB.com
It is Kim Ha-seong who repaid the regret of the strikeout with a steel plate. In the top of the 7th inning, when San Diego pursued 5-8 with Lougned Odore’s two-run four, Kim Ha-seong continued to kick the ball once again, increasing Cole’s number of pitches. In the end, Cole’s 100th pitch knuckle curve, coming low from the outside, recorded a hit that fell in the middle of the outfield, and Cole was replaced by Jimmy Cordero and left the mound. Afterwards, when Grisham’s double and Azokar’s grounder, Kim Ha-seong stepped on the home run, the call’s run increased to 6 points.
The reason why Cole struggled was Kim Ha-seong’s concentration and bat control, which kicked balls that crossed the strike zone without hitting a bat for most balls. On this day, Cole consumed 20 balls only against Kim Ha-seong and sweated even to raise one out count. This tenacity is also proven by records, and as of the end of the game on the 29th, Kim Ha-seong is running first in the major leagues with 4.62 pitches per at-bat.
Cole is not the only ace who has struggled with Kim Ha-seong this season. On the 6th, LA Dodgers ace Kershaw also held up well with 3 runs in 4⅔ innings. However, in the 5th inning, with 2 outs and bases loaded, Kim Ha-seong, who hit the shortstop with 2 strikes, failed to fill the 5th inning with 1 RBI and timely hit, and suffered the humiliation of being replaced (4 ⅔ innings, 4 runs).
Urias, who rose to the next-generation LA Dodgers ace with 20 wins in 2021 (ML 1st) and an ERA of 2.16 (NL 1st) in 2022, also allowed Ha-seong Kim to hit center field at 2nd 1st base at the end of the 6th inning on the 8th I had to leave the mound with 2 runs in 5⅔innings. In the case of May, in the game on the 13th, Ha-seong Kim was beaten and she directly exploded in anger. Even though he pitched scoreless until the 6th inning, he lost both the victory pitcher condition and quality start plus (7 innings or more, 3 earned runs or less) requirements as he was beaten by Kim Ha-seong with 2 outs, 1st and 3rd base in the 7th inning, with 2 RBIs and 2 doubles.